Multi-channel customer service: a necessity

04/26/2019 - Jordi Ordoñez

The Internet has changed everything for businesses and customers. In a world where contact routes, advertising effects, and sales channels are multiplied, customer service has to be multi-channel to meet the customer’s expectations.

Multi-channel customer service: winning consistency

The challenge is to offer patrons comprehensive customer service with multiple touchpoints that lets them interact with the company as a unique individual, regardless of whether they use the phone, email, or a live chat from the company website.

As customers, we expect a company to ‘know us’, identify us and be able totake care of a us without a problem, if the situation arises so we don’t have to go from agent to agent and explain what happened. Customers are very sensitive to an interaction running smoothly; the feeling is that the company is doing their job well, which is projected in the experience as a whole.

Creating a customer service ecosystem

The times of people calling by phone to enter a website is decreasing little by little.In fact, a phone call is still highly valuable, in terms of immediate communication, so this channel shouldn’t be ruled out. However, ideally we need to promote other channels, too.

  • Live chat

If we’re looking for proximity and readiness, the chat is the best channel since it lets the user continue their shopping experience, is directly integrated with the e-commerce itself, and has the interaction is in real-time.

Now think about the users who still prefer using the phonefor a long conversation or someoneneeds a detailed explanation. The user can “get tired of typing” and the agent invests too much of their time. In that case, you can combine efforts with the chat and the phone. This is what we do at Oct8ne using a simple code so we can reach a phone inquiry.

  • E-mail

Email is a modern classic that is still extremely useful and complements customer service. The main drawback is that there’s no immediate responselike with a phone call or the livechat. However, this can also be an advantage.

The Internet allows us to have the store open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but this doesn’t mean we have agents on that schedule, since it would be unsustainable if there’s not a huge volume of business. An email or form can collect a customer’s questions and concerns at any timeto be processed later. Even those with photos attached.

Using images can help speed up communication and enrichaccurate explanations. That’s why Oct8ne lets you share photos within the livechat, which gives the user more options.

 

  • Video

Video has surprising potential for absolutely everything and it usually goes unused. Customers regularly use video calls from their phones and computers, but why not integrate it into customer service?

Video assistance combines the advantages of the telephone, chat, and multimedia support.Oct8ne’s chat takes this into its DNA and goes a step further by using the coviewer to share the screen with the user in real-time. This is actually a very effective way to attend the customer and also gives the added value of the user remembering your brand because of their experience.

  • Knowledge bases

Normally, this is very useful when answering the most frequent questions, those we know our agents respond to on a recurring basis. By having these questions accessible to visitors with their corresponding answers in a section of our e-commerce, we facilitate customersresolving their own concerns. If they do contact agents, they will at least be more guided when using their preferred channel.

  • Social Networks

Social networks weren’t designed for customer service, but if people use them that way, we can’t ignore it. Logically, if someone has an open profile, you have to pay attention to the interactions andalways respond as quickly as possible. Everyone else will pay attention to what happens on your wall and timelines, meaning you need to keep a good tone and be effective.

We recommend monitoring your social media to spot any comments we’re mentioned in, even if we’re not tagged.

Main advantages of multi-channel customer service

As we just pointed out, branding is reinforcedthrough consistent and transversal customer service, but it doesn’t end there.

We makeour teams much more efficient. Time is money and if there’s no chat history the agents are forced to do the same job over and over again. This creates wear and tear on the customer and on those who might be waiting because the agent is busy.

Improved response time should be one of our priorities. Every minute we lose before attending a customergoes against us directly because it could end up as a lost business opportunity. In other cases, this could fuel a problem for the upset customer. At worst, itcould lead to a bad reputation but, managed well, we can tackle the issue before it happens.

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